My Nonprofit Reviews
Review for Doggone Safe, Suffern, NY, USA
Be a Tree is a fun interactive way to teach children what signs to watch for that say ”I’ve had enough, please leave me alone”, in any dog they have contact with. It teaches what to do when the situation has become more serious. Most importantly, it teaches what NOT to do (run away screaming blue murder). It’s not a lecture (kids don’t respond well to those, especially young ones). From showing posters of real dogs, through games of “Simon Says”, it is an engaging, sometimes raucous, 45-60 minute adventure (When I ask a question, yell the answer. No, LOUDER!).
As a previous Early Childhood Educator, I guarantee this is a lesson they remember, they tell friends about, and they tell their family members about. Telling family members what they have learned is an additional bonus. (What child will miss the chance to point out they know something Mom & Dad don’t? Did you guys know when you can see a half moon of white in the dog’s eye, it’s a warning signal?) As adults we all like to think we know enough to keep our kids safe….but what if we don’t!
Most people who own dogs believe that their dog “will never bite, ever”, full stop. That is a totally unrealistic attitude; all dogs’ bite and the statistics prove it. Most dog bites can be prevented if we, as humans, learn the body language that precedes the most common type of bite. Most dog bite victims are children. Most children are bitten by dogs they know! Most children are bitten in the face...trying to hug and kiss Fido. Think about the types and number of medical procedures that requires.
In the 4 years since I began working with dogs I have been knocked on my backside (serious muscle trauma, laid up for 2 weeks), got a black eye that would do a heavyweight (human) boxer proud, and been bitten twice (I’ve caused more harm to myself in the kitchen than either bite). In every instance I was at fault. I wasn’t paying enough attention to the dog’s body language, my own body language, the circumstances and the possible threat the combination of all three might signal to the dog!! Dogs evaluate situations by reading body language, and then follow the “fight or flight” rule.
Dog bite statistics won’t be lowered by breed specific legislation and bans, or by putting down every dog that bites. Education can and will make a difference. Since children are the most open minded when it comes to learning, it’s where we must start. We train dogs to “behave” in our world; we should be willing to learn more about theirs. Be a Tree does all that.
Accredited Pet Dog Trainer/Instructor
Licensed Presenter “Be a Tree”
“Dogs & Storks”